About Us

Over 250 million people use Chinese social media, many every day. We manually distill its best, most interesting stories. So you can sip them like your morning tea, instead of chugging from a fire hose.

Tea Leaf Nation is an e-magazine founded in 2011. We aspire to be a must-read source for China experts of all stripes–journalists, diplomats, academics, analysts–while remaining fun and accessible to casual China watchers. Our founding team, based in China and the United States, scours Chinese social media every day to spot trends, gauge sentiment, and carry major news stories one level deeper.

Above all, we hope to deliver content that brings China to life, humanizing the countless millions behind the text. We don’t use algorithms or bots, just hard work and intuition based on many years spent experiencing and studying China. That means each story is handpicked, just like the best tea. We hope you enjoy our brew.


Who are you?

Founding editors

Tea Leaf Nation’s founders met as Harvard students, and soon discovered a shared interest in the dark art of tea leaf reading.

David first encountered China as a Peace Corps Volunteer ten years ago. Since then, he has lived, worked and studied in Beijing, Chongqing and Hong Kong. While at Harvard Law School, he was co-president of the Harvard Asia Law Society. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Jimmy hails from the shores of China’s northern seas. He has lived abroad for many years in the U.S. and Canada. He was a co-president of the Harvard Asia Law Society where he learned much about the art of tea leaf reading. He currently lives in China.


Rachel traces her ancestry to Southern China. She spent much of her childhood memorizing Chinese poetry. After long stints in New York, New Haven and Cambridge, she has returned to China to bear witness to its great transformation. She is currently based in China.


Managing Editor

Liz Carter: Liz is a DC-based China-watcher and the author and translator of a number of Chinese-English textbooks available on amazon.cn. She and her cat Desmond relocated to DC from Beijing, where she studied contemporary Chinese literature at Peking University, after learning that HBO was planning to adapt Game of Thrones for television. She writes at abigenoughforest.com and tweets from @withoutdoing.

We also have an amazing group of contributors at Tea Leaf Nation. Learn about them here.

What are your sources?

We source our materials from major social media services in China, including, but not limited to, Sina Weibo, Sina Blog, Tencent Weibo, Sohu Weibo, Mop Community and Tianya Community.

How do I contact you?

Please email us at editors@tealeafnation.com.

Can I submit an article?

We welcome submissions! Please email editors@tealeafnation.com with “Submission to Tea Leaf Nation” in the subject line. You can learn about our submission guidelines here.

We regret we may not be able to respond to all submissions.

Buzz about Tea Leaf Nation

Tea Leaf Nation was acquired by the Foreign Policy Group, a division of the Washington Post Company, in September 2013. Tea Leaf Nation is a proud partner site of ChinaFile, a project of the Asia Society.

In addition, Tea Leaf Nation’s writers and editors are honored to have been cited or interviewed by virtually every major Western news organization. This includes The New York TimesThe New YorkerThe EconomistBBC radio and television The Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostThe GuardianThe Globe and MailAl Jazeera EnglishForbesForeign PolicyCNNThe Huffington PostQuartzHuff Post LiveNBCNPRPBSThe International Herald TribuneVoice of America, and Global Voices Online.

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